In Memory of Judy Hamilton Morse
Judy Hamilton Morse
June 17, 1946 – March 29, 2023
Judy Hamilton Morse passed away peacefully in the morning on Wednesday, March 29, 2023. Our prayers are with Judy’s husband, David Morse, and her children, Bryan Hamilton, Lindsey Heinz, and Ashley Morse.
A loving colleague, friend, and extraordinary trial lawyer, Judy held many honors including: the first female to be president of a major Oklahoma law firm; a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy; a University of Oklahoma College of Law Order of the Owl Inductee; a board member of the American Inns of Court; an Emeritus Master of the Bench of the William J. Holloway, Jr. American Inn of Court; president of the Oklahoma Bar Foundation; a member of the Journal Record’s Woman of the Year Circle of Excellence; the Oklahoma Bar Association Professionalism Award honoree; and the Mona Lambird Spotlight Award honoree for Outstanding Achievement in the Legal Profession.
Judy received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Oklahoma. She continued her education at the University of Oklahoma College of Law, where she received her Juris Doctor. She graduated with honors, and was a member of the Order of the Coif and Phi Beta Kappa. She was editor-in-chief of the Oklahoma Law Review, and was awarded the Nathan Scarritt Prize for the highest law school grade point average. Judy later served as a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of Oklahoma College of Law.
“The loss of Judy Morse is profound on so many fronts. For our firm, she was the person who could do everything and do it so brilliantly. When I came to the firm, Judy had been practicing about 15 years and she was already a dynamo by any standard but even more so as a woman in the profession. I have never seen another attorney take charge of any legal problem and manage it with such good judgment, efficiency, and intellect. She brought all those skills to her role as the first woman president of our firm and even years after she stepped out of that role people still went to her to solve problems. She gave her time in the same way to our legal community. As a friend and a mentor, she was ever present, led by word and deed and would put whatever emergency she was managing on hold to help a colleague, always. As a mom and wife, I watched her navigate a busy client and court day, with finding or doing whatever was needed in that moment for her kids. People who say you cannot have it all, or do it all, just didn’t know Judy Morse. But above all of that, she was a beautiful soul and we all shine a little brighter because she was in our lives. Our grief is deep but our benefit from having known her is so much deeper.”
– Timila Rother
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our colleague, friend, and shareholder Judy Morse. Judy was a remarkable trial lawyer, as well as a leader in our firm and in our profession. She exemplified what our lawyers aspire to be and we are proud of her and our relationship with her. A wonderful mentor, she taught all of us how to be better lawyers and we will always be grateful. We will miss her greatly.”
– Roger Stong
“We lost a giant in the legal profession. Judy was an incredible mother, lawyer, woman, mentor, and so many other wonderful things. She led a life full of positivity and led by example with grace and courage with malice toward none. Grace, courage and ethics were her navigational star that kept her on course. Judy’s had a preciseness of mind, unmatched skills while upholding the highest integrity all while blazing a trail for other women. Her ability to balance incredible talent and smarts with humility and forgiveness – even for those who had wronged her – is a lesson for all of us. Judy never strayed from her ethical requirements or her client’s needs. Always impeccably dressed, she had a class and style all her own. Despite being dealt some significant blows during her life, losing her first husband at a young age, losing a son, diagnosis of cancer amidst having an active legal practice, she never complained. In fact, I don’t think I ever heard her complain or say a harsh word about another person. Her humanity is unequaled.
– Will Hoch